With Ryan Braun’s successful appeal of the 50-game suspension, Braun will not miss any time during the regular season and all his achievements from the 2011 season, including his MVP award, are not tainted.
But his image is now.
Because of the snafu of the testing process, the technicality of the entire ordeal has now put a cloud of Bruan’s image. And with the harsh criticism that previous athletes related to PEDs have received, Braun is in for the same criticism for the remainder of his career.
It’s still unknown whether or not the delayed delivery made any real difference in the high testosterone levels found in Braun’s sample. But because of the error in the entire process, Braun is clean from the accusation but isn’t clean in the eyes of Major League Baseball.
“To have this sort of technicality of all technicalities let a player off … it’s just a sad day for all the clean players and those that abide by the rules within professional baseball,” said Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
What the MLB has been trying to do since Commissioner Bud Selig installed the drug testing policy in 2005 was to ensure that the integrity of the game would not face anymore scrutiny.
What has resulted since is a negative reaction to players that have been connected with PEDs (such as Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro). Even active players like Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez are viewed as bad people in the game. Even with players that have never failed a test, the speculation has hurt the game of baseball.
With every monster home run in the game, all within the game start to doubt whether these achievements are done without the help of PEDs. And with Braun, the questioning of the cleanliness of his MVP award continues to grow.
Even if Braun is clean from any kind of PEDs and there was really a mistake on the testing part, will Braun be viewed the same way ever again even if he did nothing wrong?
Unfortunately for Braun, he will be forever viewed as a PED user. Even if he was clean, this one incident will be a footnote in his baseball career. And all future achievements will be viewed differently.
But let’s say that Braun actually did take some sort of PED and got off the hook with this mistake. It’s another sign of MLB trying to hard to put an end to this yet still continues to fail miserably.
As Braun is scheduled to address the media this morning, there will be more critics that will question every single move that Braun makes on the baseball field. And with every double up the gap or dinger that clears the fence, there will critics complaining that Braun should be suspended.
It’s a no win situation with PEDs in the majors. The testing system is still faulty and anyone that has any kind of link to steroids will forever remain in the shadow of the game.
The continuing failing system gives Major League Baseball the black eye. Braun’s image is damaged and that’s a black eye to his career.
Until there is some resolution, the game of baseball and their players will continue running the basepaths with two black eyes and no sense of direction where to go. If the league and the players can’t see where they’re going, they’ll be doomed to repeat these offenses and stumble their way home.